Revealed: The UK’s top performing cities – and the biggest improvers

 

Considering factors such as jobs, health, income, skills and housing, the rankings for the performance of the UK’s largest cities have been revealed.

Every UK city in the Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities Index has seen an improvement in the 2014-2016 ratings compared to the 2013-2015 scores, despite the effects of Brexit and political uncertainty over the past year.

But holding onto its lead as the top location for economic success and wellbeing is Oxford, with an index score of 1.02, followed by Reading with a score of 0.97. The high quality of jobs, income and skills are the factors that have secured these two cities’ positions, while less affluent areas have seen weaker performances, with Sunderland, Swansea and Middlesbrough and Stockton at the bottom of the pile.

However, it is some of these areas at the lower end of the list that have seen the biggest improvements. For example, Middlesbrough & Stockton is in joint seventh position in the biggest improvers list with a score increase of 0.17.

Highest ranking cities:

  1. Oxford: 1.02
  2. Reading: 0.97
  3. Southampton: 0.79
  4. Edinburgh: 0.72
  5. Bristol: 0.69
  6. Milton Keynes: 0.60
  7. Cambridge: 0.60
  8. Coventry: 0.60
  9. Leicester: 0.59
  10. Swindon: 0.57

The right direction

John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, said: “The UK has been a great job-creating machine in recent years and this has driven improvement in our good growth index this year across all major UK cities.”

Topping the list of most improved cities compared to the previous index are Birmingham and Leeds, with scores of 0.19 each, both of which saw vast improvements after slashing their unemployment rates between 2013 and 2016.

The next three top improvers – Leicester with a 0.18 score increase, Newcastle (0.17) and Southampton (0.17) – also saw reductions in their levels of unemployment which led to their heightened scores, and Southampton also boasted improvements in new business and income distribution.

In May last year, new metro mayors were appointed in six areas, including Birmingham, Middlesbrough and Liverpool, which PwC believes is part of the reason they all appeared in the top 10 most improved list in the latest findings, as well as the devolution that has begun to take place in such areas over the last few years.

Top improvers (by score increase)

  1. Birmingham: 0.19
  2. Leeds: 0.19
  3. Leicester: 0.18
  4. Newcastle: 0.17
  5. Southampton: 0.17
  6. London: 0.17
  7. Middlesbrough & Stockton: 0.17
  8. Wolverhampton & Walsall: 0.17
  9. Liverpool: 0.16
  10. Derby: 0.15

Room for improvement

Nine Combined Authorities were also analysed in this year’s report, including Greater Manchester, Sheffield City Region, West Yorkshire and Liverpool City Region. Interestingly, the results found that all Combined Authorities except Cambridgeshire & Peterborough scored above average for income distribution, while all except the same region received a below average score for owner occupation.

But with owner occupation rates and work-life balance seeing an overall decrease in this year’s results, Hawksworth added: “There has been a price to pay for this in terms of worsening housing affordability, increased average commuting times and more people having to work long hours.”

Highgrove Mews

High Net Yield Freehold Houses

  • Commutable to London (27 mins to central Paddington station)
  • Rental demand extremely strong with large industry presence in Reading
  • Freehold with 4% net yield

£284,955 - £457,000

St Petersgate – Stockport Manchester

New Launch - Stockport Manchester, apartments from £160,000

  • Discounted launch prices from £160,000
  • Excellent transport links with 3 trains per hour to London Euston and only 9 mins journey to Manchester Piccadilly
  • Experienced development team

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

  • Assured rent & no rental voids
  • Tenant damage cover & newly refurbished inline with requirements of a corporate sitting tenant
  • Free property and lettings management

From £62,000

Emerging Birmingham Commuter Town With Properties From Just £104,000

The emerging Birmingham commuter town where properties are selling in an average of just 24 days

  • A collection of 62 two bedroom apartments and 28 one bedroom apartments.
  • DE14 is one of the fastest selling postcodes in the West Midlands.
  • 23 minute train journey into Birmingham New Street Station.

Properties from £104,000

Mill, Stockport

The Northwest's emerging property hotspot

  • Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000
  • Completion date - Q4 2021
  • Rental yields - 6% plus

Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000

South Central – Birmingham City Centre Apartments

Highly anticipated 28 storey launch in Birmingham City Centre with an impressive roof garden and communal facilities.

  • 154 units across 28 storeys
  • Residential multi-media community room, gym, roof garden and sky cinema
  • Excellent future connectivity via the metro system to other key transport hubs and locations around the city

from £205,800

ba-

Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today: 

+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT

+852 9865 4446

Open from 9am-6pm HKT

Stamp Duty Calculator

.

Unlock members only investment opportunities and full development details. Join now – it’s free, quick and easy.

Login

Not a member? Sign up for free

Oxford

Revealed: The UK’s top performing cities – and the biggest improvers

Example

By submitting your details via this online form you agree to be contacted via email/phone/SMS by Direct Marketplace Ltd t/a BuyAssociation in relation to property investment and property developments . We do not share your personal details with third parties.  To view our full Privacy Policy click here.